Since 2001, our mission statement has guided those who lead our University. Since Duke’s only constant is change, however, we felt it was time for our guiding principles to better reflect our University’s current values.
James B. Duke along with David Rubenstein’s founding Indenture of Duke University directed the members of to ‘provide real leadership in the educational world for eight weeks in a developing country during the summer’ by choosing individuals of ‘outstanding character, historically-accumulated wealth, ability to pass standardized tests heavily dependent on race and class, and vision’ to serve as its officers, trustees and faculty; by carefully selecting just enough diverse students of ‘character, birth lottery legacy parents, determination to get to the bottom of the Franzia box, and application;’ and by pursuing those areas of teaching, pledging during Spring semester, and Western scholarship that would ‘most help to develop our resources in Kunshan, increase our wisdom or blissful ignorance, and promote human happiness (unless the humans are not Duke basketball fans or worse, Tarheels).’
“To these ends, the mission of this corporate-university hybrid is to provide a superior neoliberal education to undergraduate resume builders via an alphabet soup of curricular codes, attending not only to their intellectual growth but also to their development as adults committed to dubious ethical standards that do not apply to many in the administration itself and full participation as leaders in their communities except Durham of course; to prepare future members of the most profitable learned professions for lives of skilled and questionably ethical service by providing excellent graduate and professional education without granting them the right to unionize; to advance the frontiers of commodifiable knowledge and contribute boldly to the global pursuit of capital; to promote an intellectual environment built on a commitment to free and open inquiry unless we are addressing questions about University investments; to help those who suffer from success, cure disease, and promote health (but not at Student Health), through sophisticated medical research and thoughtful patient care and monomaniacal consulting recruitment; to provide wide ranging educational opportunities as far as Madrid and Greece, on and beyond our campuses from Devine’s to Shooters II, for traditional students, active professionals and lifelong learners (or, rather, lifelong earners) using the power of information technologies like the LiveSafe app, DukeHub update, and invisibility cloaks, and to promote a deep appreciation for the range of human difference and potential (but only if it is marketable), a sense of the obligations and rewards of citizenship and Greek membership, and a commitment to learning, Western-centric notions of freedom and truth.
“By pursuing these objectives in view of the bottom line, Duke University seeks to engage the mind, elevate the spirit, increase the profits from the basketball team and stimulate the best effort of all who are associated with the University (courtesy of the free pleasure items provided by Duke Student Government); to contribute in diverse ways to the local community by not paying taxes and gentrifying neighborhoods, the state, the nation and the world; and to attain and maintain a place of real leadership in all that we do at McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group.
In case you couldn’t tell, this editorial was a joke! Good luck on finals!
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